Intimate Apparel
Posted by: DAW60 02:28 pm EST 01/24/22

I attended Sunday's performance. First, it is an opera, which some in the audience did not know-and they left at intermission (I heard at least 5 conversations in the lobby about this.) There are two pianos used to accompany the singers. The sets are basic, but serviceable, and they are changed as the music flows. The costumes are very good, fitting with the theme of the piece. The running time is as listed at 2 1/2 hours.
The musical style is what anyone who has seen a contemporary opera in the last 30 years might expect: sung through, with a lot of sung dialogue, and just a few "set piece" arias.
I'm no musician, so I can't report in detail, but without more orchestration I'd say the voice is what carries the weight in this piece rather than the music. All of the performers were very committed and sounded in fine voice to me.
I have not seen the play, so I don't know how closely it follows the plot. The seamstress at the center of this piece is seen reacting to a variety of characters. all of whom are seeking something. Her journey is the plot, and it is at times quite moving.
I would say (SPOILER ahead) that the plot points are totally predictable from very early on in the piece. I pretty much knew what would happen and it did. That's not to say such knowledge dulls the point-I've seen many operas multiple times, and they affect me every time. But it's more the music than the story that does the trick. In this case, I didn't feel the music take me beyond the story line. Perhaps with more instruments I would, but two pianos did not do it for me.
On the whole, I was glad to have seen it, but I doubt I would see it again. I would not recommend it unless you enjoy contemporary opera (and that doesn't mean Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which is way more tuneful than most.)
One last note: my seats were changed as they have decided to shut off the first row (which is row B), so the seats there are covered. I was in row E, which was fine.

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